River - such a timely post for what is going on in my life!!!!!
I have to say that I completely disagree with Sean.
While it has long been believed/generalized that women cannot separate love (emotional attachment, intimacy, etc.) and sex, women have been having successful casual flings for decades, if not centuries - exactly the same as men have. Because sex can be so much better (more passionate/hotter/explosively exciting) when love is involved, however, it is my opinion that women would indeed be more drawn to polyamory as a relationship style versus swinging or general open relationships. After reading many books about the biological and sociological history of gender and sex, certain things have rung true for me within my current situation, while certain other things I have yet to experience: for example, it is postulated that women tend to get more upset over men becoming emotionally attached to the "other woman" while men tend to become more upset over women having sex with the "other man".
While I myself have experienced jealousy and envy in many forms over the years with many different partners, it is fascinating how my mind almost works out within itself how to deal with it - I am a very rational person, so I tend to dig to find the root of the problem, ergo I try to find what I am really upset about that is causing this feeling rather than just saying to myself, "oh, he doesn't love me anymore" (aha! fear!). There are very few times in my life when the emotion got the better of me, when I was in deep episodes of depression, and it did take therapy and meds to get me out of them, but all the other times, simply talking to myself has worked through the issue.
Currently, however, I have "come out" as poly, but my BF is not. And he is not taking it super well. Jealousy, and waffling back and forth over whether he can learn to accept it or not. I think it began as miscommunication and misunderstanding in the beginning - he thought I wanted emotional friends. Now that he realizes that these will be full, loving, intimate relationships with the possibility of sex, he is very unsure of the whole kit and kaboodle. He says he simply can't share the relationship with someone else, can't share me with someone else, can't see how I can have such an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time, thinks that I must be drawing some sort of line between love and sex in order to be able to do this. This says to me that there is still a strong caveman sensibility of possessiveness and right to own somewhere in his gene pool, and I find it more fascinating than annoying at this point (we'll see how long it drags on, though, if it gets more irritating). I don't want to be someone else's end all and be all - that is way too much responsibility - and I don't expect it of someone else realistically, either. However, the way that he was raised (strict religious and conservative upbringing) it makes sense for this to be very difficult to wrap his head around - and for this mindset to be inherent in his personality.
Now, as for women being less suited to poly versus, say, monogamy, we (women) would still have to put up with the same issues, just wrapped in some different paper with some different ribbons on it. Our men might have an affair - so we would still have to deal with jealousy, we may have an affair - so we would have to deal with their jealousy, we may fall in or out of love with our SO or other people - so we would face beginnings and endings in relationships; it just would not all necessarily be simultaneous. In my opinion, I think women are more suited to poly simply because it seems to require much more emotional maturity - I know this will sound completely sexist, and is totally stereotypical - in my personal experience, most women are more emotionally mature than most men, and so would be more able and inclined to handle (balance?) the simultaneous aspect of poly relationships to a better degree, regardless of jealousy (which seems to affect everyone in some way, shape or form).
Just my two cents.
"If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?" Ru Paul